The hunt for a new face of science communication is on.

The hunt for a new face of science communication is on. FameLab, a national competition to find the communicators of the future, takes place later this year. The winner will be chosen at the the UK’s Cheltenham Festival of Science on 11 June and the prize includes broadcasting time on television’s Channel 4.

The competition begins with heats at six venues nationwide. In round one, hopefuls are given just three minutes to impress the judges on a topic of their choice. Those reaching round two will then present a different five minute talk. The panel of judges will be looking for entertaining and exciting talks suitable for the general public. Participants must be at least 18 years old and working in science.

The competition, with a format similar to other popular talent shows, was launched by Paul Nurse. Nurse is a Nobel laureate for his work in cancer cell research in 2001. ’Science plays a vital role in our society,’ he said. ’There’s a lot at stake here: if the public does lose confidence then support will be lost.’ The judging panel includes Roger Highfield, science editor for The Daily Telegraph, and Robert Winston, professor of fertility studies at Imperial College London.

The 12 finalists will be given a two-day training course in science communication before the grand final. The winner will receive broadcasting time on Channel 4, a schedule of events and ?2000. Full details are available from

Vikki Allen